Australasia

‘Dangerous times’: Police to have new powers to check IDs at airports

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Police will be given sweeping new powers to demand identification from travellers under new laws to boost counter-terrorism efforts at Australia’s airports. Fergus Hunter The Age The Australian Federal Police will be able to ask anyone for ID and eject them from the airport under the changes that will also see the introduction of advanced X-ray and body scanning machines. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull conceded the new powers were a big step but said they were necessary for “dangerous… Mr ... Read More »

Jillian Murray and Suzanne Chaundy’s De Stroyed

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Listen now(Link will open in new window) Download audio ABC – Monday 14 May 2018 10:15AM (view full episode) IMAGE: JILLIAN MURRAY IN DE STROYED. (SUPPLIED: FORTYFIVEDOWNSTAIRS/JODIE HUTCHINSON) Award-winning actor and theatre maker Jillian Murray returns to the stage in De Stroyed— a collaboration with director Suzanne Chaundy coming to Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs. The one-person play adapts the words of French feminist Simone de Beauvoir, particularly her love letters to Jean-Paul Sartre, to reflect on the origins of contemporary feminism and question how far we have ... Read More »

Wlad’s worlds: Polish Resistance fighter, ‘Slavic space age’ modernist, legendary Australian artist

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The relationship between art and life is tricky to navigate. But in the case of the Polish-born Australian artist Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz (1918-1999) the two seem inseparable. Christine Judith Nicholls The Conversation This is evident in the outstanding commemorative solo exhibition of his artistic career, Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz: 100th Anniversary Exhibition, expertly curated by his son Adam and currently on show at South Australia’s elegant Murray Bridge Regional Gallery. Born in Stara Sol, near Lwow, Wlad (as he became universally known) studied ... Read More »

Homelessness: Australia’s shameful story of policy complacency and failure continues

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Exactly a decade ago in 2008, the Australian government committed to an ambitious strategy to halve national homelessness by 2020. Authors: The Conversation Through stepped-up early intervention, better homelessness services and an expanded supply of affordable housing, the problem would be tackled with conviction. Instead, as succeeding governments regrettably abandoned the 2008 strategy, homelessness in Australia has been on the rise. Last week’s federal budget offered no response to this concern. And the problem is fast getting worse, as highlighted ... Read More »

Friends in Crisis: Anzacs and Hellenism

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Across numerous conflicts in the first half of the 20th century, Australians and New Zealanders were at the side of Hellenism: World War One, the Asia Minor Campaign (1919-1922), and the relief efforts after the Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian Genocides. Panayiotis Diamadis Beyond their battlefield record, these Anzacs and others from the Antipodes provided substantial practical and moral support for a people going through successive major crises. 2014 marked the Centenary of the outbreak of World War One, and the ... Read More »

This isn’t Helter Skelter: Why the internet alone can’t be blamed for radicalisation

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The internet’s precise role in the process of radicalisation remains vexing. You can lead a person to a bomb-making manual, but you can’t make them use it. Radicalisation is a social process. Authors: The Conversation It refers to a means by which an individual or group embraces an extreme ideology and rejects or undermines the “status quo”. This process can then lead to an increased willingness to condone or use violence. “Safety” in the digital era The internet allows previously ... Read More »

Mad Magazine’s clout may have faded, but its ethos matters more than ever before

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Mad Magazine is still hanging on. In April, it launched a reboot, jokingly calling it its “first issue.” Michael J. Socolow The Conversation But in terms of cultural resonance and mass popularity, it’s largely lost its clout. At its apex in the early 1970s, Mad’s circulation surpassed 2 million. As of 2017, it was 140,000. As strange as it sounds, I believe the “usual gang of idiots” that produced Mad was performing a vital public service, teaching American adolescents that ... Read More »

Criminally minded … and how you can change it all

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When a person becomes “criminally minded”, the circumstances that brought them to that place are many, varied and complicated. No one is ever truly out of reach of help but once a person thinks like a criminal they can usually see no options apart from the “easy” way out. Mental illness of any degree plays a huge role in shaping how someone deals with any given situation. Stephen Menadue* Pic: Flickr, Alan Cleaver Tasmanian Times If you’re someone that says ... Read More »

For Timor-Leste, another election and hopes for an end to crippling deadlock

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For the last year, the people of Timor-Leste have expected – and received – little from their government except deadlock. Jerry Courvisanos The Conversation From a political standpoint, there’s been gridlock for nearly a year after the Fretilin party eked out a victory in parliamentary elections last July, kicking independence hero Xanana Gusmao’s National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) party out of power for the first time in a decade. However, Fretilin’s minority government found itself blocked at every turn ... Read More »

104-year-old academic David Goodall says in his final hours he has ‘no hesitations whatsoever’

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As 104-year-old academic David Goodall prepares to end his life through voluntary euthanasia in Switzerland, he has told a press conference he hopes his story encourages Australians to take a more liberal view on assisted dying. ABC This week, Dr Goodall travelled to Switzerland where an end of life clinic has approved his application to exercise the so-called “Swiss option”. Speaking at a press conference in the Swiss city of Basel on Wednesday, Dr Goodall was surprised by the crowd ... Read More »

Explainer: how the Australian intelligence community works

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National security, intelligence and espionage have been in the headlines due to events abroad and significant developments at home. John Blaxland The Conversation News of diplomatic expulsions, cyber-attacks, leaked documents about sweeping new surveillance powers and the creation of a new Home Affairs Department make it hard to follow. What’s more, everyone has heard of the CIA, for instance, but Australia’s own national security organisations are comparatively unknown. So how is intelligence gathered? What are Australia’s peak national security bodies ... Read More »

Drug testing dole recipients will only make addiction worse, but the government won’t hear it

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Fifty-two. That’s how many submissions were made to the Senate inquiry into the Government’s drug testing bill for welfare recipients, which handed down its findings this week. Toby Hall ABC The bill aims to trial drug testing for new income support recipients at three sites: Mandurah in Western Australia, Logan on the outskirts of Brisbane and Bankstown in south-west Sydney. It’s estimated that 5000 people will be drug tested over two years as part of the trial. Those who test ... Read More »

Sex without consent is rape. Courts around the world must catch up

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While some judicial systems acknowledge that ‘no means no’, they don’t seem to understand that ‘no’ can be conveyed in more than just words Cathy Camera The Guardian As Saxon Mullins bravely told her rape story on Four Corners, Twitter lit up in horror and disbelief. This young woman was shining a light on the issue of consent and how it is interpreted by our judicial system. Her story was powerful and moving, and the next day the NSW attorney ... Read More »

Facebook banning foreign ads related to Ireland’s abortion referendum

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Facebook has announced it is banning foreign advertisements related to Ireland’s abortion referendum amid concerns that North American groups are trying to influence the campaign. AP ABC Irish voters will decide on May 25 whether to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion, in a divisive referendum that has drawn international attention. Ireland bars political donations from abroad, but the law does not apply to social media advertising. US-based anti-abortion groups are among those who have bought online ads in Ireland ... Read More »

Dispersing refugees around a country puts them at an immediate disadvantage – why this matters for integration

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The estimated number of people worldwide displaced by conflict and violence reached an unprecedented 68.9m at the end of 2017. Francesco Fasani The Conversation A relatively minor fraction of these people have reached the European Union. Between 2014 and 2016, the 15 Western European members of the EU – known as the EU15 – received 2.6m asylum applications. Over the same three years, the resident population with recognised refugee status increased from one million to 1.8m. With refugee integration a ... Read More »

New laws put Australia’s press freedom at risk

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According to the Human Rights Law Centre, federal national security laws must be “seriously reworked” to properly protect journalists, their sources and a robust Australian democracy. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly Legal advocacy director from the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC), Dr Aruna Sathanapally, has argued that a free press should not be something that those in power merely tolerated. A free press was a vital mechanism of accountability, she suggested, and a robust democracy depended on it. “Journalists must be free ... Read More »